Facebook Could Soon Show 6-Second Ads Before Some Videos

Facebook Could Soon Show 6-Second Ads Before Some Videos
Image source: Ad Age/Facebook

Now that Facebook has you hooked on videos, it’s not going to keep delivering them to you entirely free. While the social media firm won’t be charging you money, it does want compensation—in the form of ad dollars. The company is said to be planning to start showing a six-second ad before some videos next year. The Facebook video ads aren’t a total surprise, however, as the company has been telling advertisers and big brands for months that they are coming.

Facebook video ads address publishers’ concerns

The Wall Street Journal reports that publishers have been expressing concerns because they haven’t been able to earn much money off videos posted on Facebook. As a result, the company will begin testing six-second video ads before some videos before they start to play, sources reportedly told the WSJ.

Management discussed six-second video ads on the conference call when discussing the social media firm’s second-quarter earnings results. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said on the earnings call that they found when conducting a test with Tropicana that six seconds seemed to be the ideal length for Facebook video ads.

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Because consumers tend to avoid ads, shorter ads are seen as ideal because they’re over quickly, posing minimal annoyance for users while also letting big brands get a chance to market their products. Then Ad Age reported early this month that Facebook was preparing to lift its longtime ban on pre-roll video ads.

The company has already been using mid-roll video ads WSJ’s sources also reportedly said that Facebook is also changing its use of ads inserted in the middle of videos. The company has been paying some publishers to do that.

Promoting viral videos on Facebook

In addition to the changes being made to the Facebook video ads, the company is also said to be planning a change to the algorithm it users for newsfeeds. The goal of the change is to promote any pages that post sought-after videos, meaning those that users purposely look for on the social network, over videos that users see only because they’re reading their newsfeeds.

The videos that people look for purposely tend to be those that have gone viral. According to the WSJ’s sources, Facebook aims to encourage users to watch videos multiple times.

The changes to the Facebook video ads and algorithm change for viral videos could be announced as early as today.

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